by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

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Olena Osipov
5 from 67 votes

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute. Cooking chicken breast in the Instant Pot is an essential recipe that is perfect for beginners and novices alike. Use in a variety of meals and recipes that call for cooked chicken.

This pressure cooker chicken breast is my go-to on a busy weeknight or weekend (who am I kidding?!). Often it becomes shredded chicken making it perfect for salad, tacos and stir fries. Just like Instant Pot whole chicken this is any mom’s best friend.

Instant Pot chicken breast on a trivet

Why This Instant Pot Chicken Breast Works?

This Instant Pot chicken breast recipe is easy, simple and forgiving. Don’t you always have a pack of chicken breasts in your freezer?! Now you can make chicken breast in Instant Pot from fresh or frozen in 30 minutes.

I just love Instant Pot! It makes the best Instant Pot rice and beans with no soaking, lasagna with no need for a springform pan, the most tender Instant Pot beef stew with no need to saute, easy Instant Pot steamed vegetables and even cobbler!

Instant Pot whole chicken breast and shredded chicken breast on a plate

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures and how to clean your Instant Pot after cooking in it. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion and how it is different than a slow cooker.

Also if you are not a blessed electric pressure cooker owner just yet, check out my baked chicken breast recipe or air fryer chicken breast. Same easy and simple. Also this honey garlic chicken would be good pan fried – in case you don’t have an oven.

Ingredients for Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast

You really need only chicken breasts and water. Everything else is up to your taste and what meal idea you are planning to use with your cooked Instant Pot chicken breast recipe.

If you are adding cooked chicken breast to salads, quesadillas and tostadas, I would not worry about seasonings much.

If you are planning to eat cooked chicken breast alongside quinoa or brown rice and salad (meal prep style), I would pay attention to spices.

  • Chicken breasts – You can use fresh or frozen.
  • Salt and pepper – Simple seasonings so your chicken is a ‘blank slate’ for recipes.
  • Garlic powder – If you wish, but not required.
  • Dried herbs – If you like, really it will depend on how you plan to use the chicken once it is ready.

Use one of these 5 chicken marinades to really ramp up the flavor of the chicken breast.

instant pot chicken breast

How to Cook Fresh Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

  • Add 1 cup water and place trivet on top.
  • Lay chicken breasts in a single layer, sprinkle with spices and rub onto each other.
  • Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes – under 2″ thickness and 15 minutes – over 2″ thick breasts.
  • Do Natural Release for 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

Cook frozen chicken breasts just like fresh but:

  • For 15 minutes.
  • Make sure each breast is separated.

If you add a blob of frozen chicken breasts, you will end up with raw meat inside and overcooked chicken outside.

When you bring fresh chicken from the store, line each breast with small piece of parchment paper before adding to a bag and freezing. Thaw for 5 minutes or run under cold water for easy parchment paper removal.

Check out my Instant Pot frozen chicken breast recipe for detailed info.

Tips for Instant Pot Chicken Success

What Size of Instant Pot Can I Use?

Any – 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart.

Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount.

Just make sure chicken breasts fit in a single layer. If your Instant Pot is small and you want to cook large amount of breasts, do so in a few batches. Piling up chicken in a few layers will result in undercooked chicken.

Also note that larger pressure cooker (like mine – 8 quart) take longer to come to pressure – about 8-10 minutes.

Do I Have to Saute Breasts Before Cooking?

I just had to comment. Many recipes online ask you to saute chicken breast before pressure cooking in an effort “to lock in most of juices”. I can assure you I have cooked chicken breast in Instant Pot over 20 times and it comes out juicy if you follow my recipe.

Instant Pot shredded chicken breast

Can I Cook Breasts with Bones?

Yes. Even with skin on, if you wish. Same amount of time.

Does Size of Breast Matter?

6 oz or 10 oz – doesn’t matter. 10 minutes or 15 minutes of pressure cooking is enough time to cook standard American supermarket chicken breasts.

Can I Cook Just One Breast?

Yes, you can. You can cook as many instapot chicken breasts as you need or as little as long as they fit into a single layer. Same cooking time.

Serving Recommendations for Cooked Chicken Breast

There are so many ways to answer the question on what to do with cooked chicken breast! Here are a few ways to turn your Instant Pot chicken breast recipe into a meal:

Alternately, browse 65 chicken recipes perfect for putting your Instant Pot chicken to good use!

Major tip alert! Save that broth on the bottom of the pot for making chicken soup or any soup. It is basically free chicken broth.

Instant Pot chicken breast, pico de gallo and tortilla chips

FAQs

How long to cook chicken breast in Instant Pot?

Cooking times will vary depending on the size and if your chicken is fresh or frozen. Here are some general guidelines – for fresh breasts under 2″ thickness cook on high for 10 minutes. For fresh breasts over 2″ thick or if your chicken breast is frozen, cook for 15 minutes.

Why is my Instant Pot chicken rubbery?

Using my cooking guidelines for both size of breast and fresh/frozen, you should end up with perfectly cooked chicken breast in the Instant Pot. If it is rubbery, this could be a sign of undercooked meat. Check the internal temperature which should be 165F degrees for chicken breast.

Can you overcook chicken in the Instant Pot?

Because the Instant Pot steam provides a moist environment for your chicken breast, this is difficult to do, but nonetheless no one likes dry chicken. If you are worried about this, be sure to follow this recipe to a ‘T’ and measure your chicken breast thickness at its widest point so you know exactly how long to cook chicken breast in Instant Pot.

Can I cook chicken thighs in Instant Pot?

Yes! Be sure to see our Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe for exact cooking method.

Making This Recipe in Advance

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge or on a counter.

More Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Instant Pot chicken breast
Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Instant Pot Chicken Breast {Fresh or Frozen}

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute. Cooking chicken breast in the Instant Pot is an essential recipe that is perfect for beginners and novices alike. Use in a variety of meals and recipes that call for cooked chicken.
4.99 from 67 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 295kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breasts fresh or frozen*
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • To the Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside.
    Instant Pot Chicken Breast
  • Lay chicken breasts in a single layer (if using frozen make sure they are separated) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly with tongs or hands.
    Instant Pot Chicken Breast
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes (under 2″ thickness) for fresh or 15 minutes for fresh (over 2″ thick) and frozen chicken breasts.
    Instant Pot Chicken Breast
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After 10-15 minutes your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF. Wait 5 minutes and do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
    Instant Pot Chicken Breast
  • Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc. Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.
    Instant Pot Chicken Breast
  • Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.
    Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

      Video

      Notes

      • *If using frozen chicken breasts make sure they are separated. Think about it before freezing a whole tray, separate them with parchment paper.
      • Feel free to use chicken broth instead of water.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1breast | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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